Metaverse Marketing: How To Start Reaching Your Customers In Cyberspace
In this new digital age of Web3.0, companies and businesses are needing to think creatively and act quickly to stay in line with the trend. If you’re a business owner you might be feeling the pressure. Virtual reality, virtual worlds, virtual events… it’s all happening in the digital space and many brands don’t want to realise in 10 years that they’ve missed the boat and be left twiddling their thumbs in the real world.
As overwhelming and fast paced as it all may feel, it also brings exciting opportunities to build brand loyalty, increase customer engagement, and create an awesome customer journey and customer experience. Marketing strategies have evolved and business needs to evolve with them.
The evolution of marketing
We don’t mean to treat you as an idiot but for the sake of clear definitions, marketing refers to a business practice that promotes or sells products or services. The four P’s of the marketing world — prices, products, promotions and places — have been defined and utilised to help focus marketing strategies for years. We are subject to marketing every day in the form of tv ads, billboards, radio segments, packaging… the list is endless.
However, the time has come to move away from billboards and pamphlets! In comes the metaverse. Marketing in the Metaverse is an exciting new way to advertise and sell your products. Today’s marketing is constantly changing as the metaverse continues to grow in Web3.0. When Web 1.0 was launched, it simply meant that a company’s website had contact details for businesses. Web 2.0 then began linking users and collecting search results so that the experience could become personal.
Web3.0 is bringing customers into a virtual world and to a virtual store front. Traditional marketing techniques like those mentioned are no longer going to cut it as customers eyes divert from the physical world into virtual worlds.
Why companies are marketing in the metaverse
Companies are responding to this evolution of marketing and getting into the metaverse market as a response to consumer behavior. It’s a new frontier that offers countless new ways to reach consumers, build relationships, and provide even more personalized experiences.
Using the technology, businesses can communicate with fully immersed customers in several ways for the purpose of gaining attention, but one of the major reasons businesses aim to target this area is more effective engagement of Gen X and millennials. They are the ones increasingly browsing the internet, now grabbing at VR headsets, and ultimately beginning to purchase more digital products in the digital space.
But, it’s not only about the new potential customers that could be engaged by virtual billboards or virtual stores, it’s also about keeping the ones companies already have. As customer attention moves into metaverse worlds and virtual experiences, companies and businesses need to follow.
How does the metaverse work?
Getting your head around the metaverse platform can seem confusing, but it’s really quite simple when you get down to it. It’s a virtual world, much like our own. Consumers can access this world through virtual reality (VR) headsets, through their mobile phone devices, laptops… really any electronics connected to the internet. It is an interactive environment where the customer experience involves socialising, shopping, gaming, and creativity.
There can be more than one metaverse, with many tech brands creating their own. Meta, previously known as Facebook, is investing heavily in creating a metaverse and marketing virtual reality headsets for consumers to access it through. People will be able to visit your virtual store front, interact with your business and purchase goods just as they do in the real world.
What is metaverse marketing in a virtual world?
So, what does metaverse marketing look like? It’s something businesses need to get their heads around. Metaverse marketing is an advertising strategy which uses the metaverse to reach customers. This provides an immersive interactive environment which gives companies the potential and ability to engage customers through a virtual store, virtual events, virtual billboards and the like, all in a virtual world.
Metaverse marketing involves engaging customers and other users through various means such as games, non fungible tokens, AR augmented reality, digital collectibles and other mixed reality experiences or goods. Metaverse marketing is taking advantage of user’s experience in this new space through the tools it makes available. It involves building experiences using the digital assets available on the metaverse platform to connect direct to an avatar (customers virtual selves).
Such strategies can be used by a business to create relationships and promote brand, or boost product promotions. Metaverse marketing has different characteristics compared to the traditional method of providing an immersive experience to the customer in a physical store, so it will require business owners to learn new ways of doing things. The good news is, we’re here to help!
How to reach customers in metaverse marketing
The metaverse platform is still considered to be in it’s early stages, but it’s moving fast. So, as quickly as businesses can they’re creating a metaverse marketing strategy. You might be wondering what to consider when creating one of these for your business or company. Well, there are some key strategies to think about when working out how to reach consumers in metaverse worlds.
Retail virtual goods to digital avatars
In the metaverse, avatars represent human beings. People are able to create a custom avatar that they can then customize even further. For example, in real life people use 3D environments for self-expression when we purchase a house that feels like ‘us’. Customers will want to do the same thing when they purchase things in a digital world for their digital self ‘avatar’ such as when they purchase virtual real estate. That’s right, you heard that correctly, people are buying land in the metaverse. They also want to buy clothes, hairdos, voices, animations and many other digital items for their avatars.
A direct-to-avatar economy has emerged. It allows businesses to sell virtual merchandise directly to these virtual selves. Naturally, clothing manufacturers have taken advantage by marketing digital clothing products. One company, Balenciaga, collaborates with Fortnite to design virtual costumes, accessories and equipment for avatar purchase. Similarly, Gucci has marketed digital bags on Roblox for up to $4000. If you want to market in a virtual environment, consider marketing strategies surrounding virtual items for virtual customers.
Replicate successful real-world marketing strategies
It’s not necessary to start from scratch to promote in the Metaverse. You have the ability to apply effective real-world marketing tactics to the metaverse. Influencer marketing is an excellent marketing strategy in this regard. There are countless people, young and old, who have made a name for themselves on the internet, especially within the metaverse and virtual worlds. You could contact a metaverse influencer and collaborate on the promotion of your brand. This is an effective method of gaining broader audiences and building trust between prospective customers and your brand. The influencer can ‘take the leap’ into the metaverse world on your behalf while you simply dip your toes in.
It is also possible to use other real-life marketing techniques including email marketing, social media marketing, and in game audio ads when marketing products… you might just send it to their digital phone rather than their real one. Don’t forget, many brands still ensure they use search engine optimization tools for a more user friendly metaverse experience.
Create virtual brand assets in virtual reality and augmented reality
One great thing about metaverse marketing is the creation of virtual brand assets. These are assets that have your brand on them or associated with them and may include items such as NFTs. An NFT token is unique in nature and excellent at representing a brand in the metaverse for this reason. Just like the real world, but even more poignantly in the metaverse, customers are looking for uniqueness when they purchase virtual goods. It is a new and exciting way to represent your company’s name.
Coca cola is already doing this by creating NFTs and virtual assets that have their brand expressed in new and creative ways. These could be virtual artworks for virtual houses, virtual clothing or cars, virtual bags or watches, all with your brand all over them but expressed in interesting virtual ways. Coca cola needn’t hog all the fun!
Offer immersive experiences in virtual worlds
Brands whose focus is around creating an experience have customers who are 25% more loyal than those who don’t. These experiences make brands more memorable. For marketers in the metaverse, there are unique opportunities to develop immersive experiences which transport customers into other worlds.
This is possible through virtual reality (VR) or augmented reality (AR) where virtual reality lets users experience being in new surroundings and augmented reality lets customers bring virtual assets into existing real world surroundings. Perhaps you could run a virtual tour, or host a virtual show or music event, or even focus on native in game advertising in some kind of online game in VR. Perhaps you could have location based races or digital collectibles offered at real world monuments through AR. This is ideal to create a customer experience unlike the norm and grow customer loyalty.
Integrate your brand natively within the metaverse
Consumers dislike advertisement interruptions. Ensuring these are kept to a minimum will be crucial for your brand if you’re integrating into the Metaverse. Keep your brand accessible in your metaverse and easy to discover by people using the site, don’t force ads onto them. A good rule of thumb is to ensure your brand is presented as a consistent representation of the real world. What does this mean? Don’t get carried away forcing digital ads into peoples faces if in the real world you’re more about organic growth through organic exposure.
Depending upon your metaverse, you may be placed naturally within it through a virtual store for example. Other ways to integrate your brand are through background music, digital avatars that wander around wearing marketing material, or through games that host your purchasable items as prizes.
Parallel real-life marketing in the virtual environment
Transitioning to the metaverse is not meant to mean doing everything differently. Through virtualization and simulation you can create a bridge between virtual worlds and the real-world. Examples of such a campaign include Deliveroo’s Animal Crossing Campaign.
The online food service partnered with virtual riders to create a game in which they supply several islands of food. Players reach these islands and receive an exclusive package which they can then redeem for goods in real life. Sometimes it’s not about bringing your brand into the metaverse, but enticing the customers back out with parallel marketing strategies.
The time to embrace the Metaverse is now
Since most metaverse applications have either been limited or have had some gamification, many companies will put off investing. However, now that Web3 and the metaverse has really taken off, it’s no longer a safe bet to stave off that investment. The Metaverse has now begun to evolve rapidly, regardless of obstacles. It’s not something that will have a grand opening but instead a gradual development that builds over time. So, it’ll be easy to miss the boat. When it comes to marketing in the metaverse, there’s no better time than now.
You’ve got this!
You’ll have many questions and face many challenges when beginning to market in the metaverse, no doubt. Read more articles, grow your knowledge on the topic and remember we’re always here to help. This is an on-going journey but an inevitable one that businesses and companies will need to take. Your business can’t be left behind as your target audience moves on. Chase that target audience of yours into the unknown, and seize this moment in history.